Highlights from the Survey
Question 1: Asked to give the current rate of inflation, respondents gave a median answer of 2.8%, compared to 2.9% in November.
Question 2a: Median expectations of the rate of inflation over the coming year were 3.0%, down from 3.1% in November.
Question 2b: Asked about expected inflation in the twelve months after that, respondents gave a median answer of 2.9%, remaining the same as in November.
Question 2c: Asked about expectations of inflation in the longer term, say in five years’ time, respondents gave a median answer of 3.4%, down from 3.6% in November.
Question 3: By a margin of 47% to 10%, survey respondents believed that the economy would end up weaker rather than stronger if prices started to rise faster, compared with 52% to 7% in November.
Question 4: 52% of respondents thought the inflation target was ‘about right’, remaining the same as in November. The proportions saying the target was ‘too high’ or ‘too low’ were 19% and 9%, respectively.
Question 5: 12% of respondents thought that interest rates had fallen over the past 12 months, compared with 11% in November, while 27% of respondents said that interest rates had risen over the past 12 months, remaining the same as in November.
Question 6: When asked about the future path of interest rates, 29% said they expected rates to stay about the same over the next twelve months, compared with 26% in November. 39% of respondents expected rates to rise over the next 12 months, remaining the same as in November.
Question 7: Asked what would be ‘best for the economy’ – higher interest rates, lower rates or no change – 17% thought rates should ‘go up’, up from 16% in November. 16% of respondents thought that interest rates should ‘go down’, down from 18% in November. 37% thought interest rates should ‘stay where they are’, up from 35% in November.
Question 8: When asked what would be ‘best for you personally’, 20% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go up’, unchanged from November. 26% of respondents said it would be better for them if interest rates were to ‘go down’, down slightly from 27% in November.
Question 14: Respondents were asked to assess the way the Bank of England is ‘doing its job to set interest rates to control inflation’. The net satisfaction balance – the proportion satisfied minus the proportion dissatisfied – was +29%, down slightly from +30% in November.